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Rookies Considered “Long Shots” To Make The Roster Next Season

As Development Camp approaches, “when will these guys play in the NHL” is bound to become the prevailing topic du jour. However, the general manager of the team has been preaching a message of patience.

Those are probably long shots (to make the roster next year). We did a real good job drafting them and that’s the first thing you have to do and the second thing you have to do is develop them properly. – George McPhee

Cody Glass (2017, #6 overall) and Nick Suzuki (2017, #13 overall) both recorded over 100 points in juniors a year ago. Both are likely to make the jump to the AHL in 2018.

UPDATE: CHL/AHL/NHL rules do not allow Glass or Suzuki to play in the AHL next season. Both are too young. So, like this season, if either do not make the NHL roster out of camp, they will be returned to their junior team and cannot join the NHL roster until their junior season is complete.

Brannstrom might have the most experience against men, but Glass could easily turn out to be the closest to ready. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Erik Brannstrom (2017, #15 overall) played his entire season in the professional league in Sweden and was one of the final cuts on the Swedish World Championship team at the age of 19. He may be the most “pro-ready” but defenseman usually take a bit longer to make it to the NHL.

Finally, Nic Hague (2017, #34 overall) was named the best defenseman in the entire CHL. This award has been previously won by Ryan Ellis, Karl Alzner, Dougie Hamilton, and Ivan Provorov. The problem for Hague is that due to his size he projects as a much more “stay-at-home” style player and his defensive skating skill is likely not ready to go against the stars of the NHL.

It’s a steep climb for all four of these Golden Knights prospects to make the team and while McPhee isn’t expecting it, he’s at least open-minded to the idea.

They’re going to have to be really really good to make this club… They are young guys and you are stepping into a league with guys with families and everything else. Sometimes it’s like taking a kid from 8th grade and putting him in 12th grade. It doesn’t always work. -McPhee

Development Camp begins June 26th at City National Arena. (For the full scheudule click through)

Tuesday, June 26
-Team Grey Practice, 2:15 PM
-Team White Practice, 4:15 PM

Wednesday, June 27
-Team White Practice, 9:15 AM
-Team Grey Practice, 11:30 AM
-Team White Practice, 3 PM
-Team Grey Practice, 5:15 PM

Thursday, June 28
-Team White Practice, 9:15 AM
-Team Grey Practice, 11:15 AM
-Joint Scrimmage, 4:00 PM

Friday, June 29
-Joint Scrimmage, 10:00 AM

Saturday, June 30
-Joint Scrimmage, 10:15 AM

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10 Comments

  1. Mark

    Nice write up Ken. One question/comment though, I don’t believe according to the CHA/NHL transfer agreement Glass and Suzuki are eligible for the AHL yet because they won’t be 20 years old yet.

    Hague, I think makes it

    Brannstrom doesn’t count because he is in the Swedish League.

    • Yeah I’m not sure on the exacts. From what I understood they could both play in the AHL. We are going to look into it when we get to Dev Camp.

      • Mark

        I get it. I’m not 100% positive, but I’m pretty sure those 2 have to go back to Juniors.

        One of the agreements I’m not a fan of. Sometimes a kid is too good for Juniors but not quite good enough for the NHL yet, but the age thing hoses them.

  2. Bent Hermit

    I really don’t think any of the draft picks will play until after the expansion draft. One of Bettman’s assistants came out and basically said that they were looking for a loophole to force VGK into the Seattle expansion draft. GMGM got some really nice young talent and will not want to risk losing one of them.

    • Mark

      Remember the rule was they have to have played 3 AHL and/or NHL seasons. If Seattle drafts in 2020 like planned, none of them would be eligible regardless.

      • Bent Hermit

        From what i read it’s 2 years ahl or nhl experience . My guess is that they keep the players they can in juniors and Europe.

        • Mark

          First and second year players were exempt. So you could play 2 full seasons, and not have to be protected.
          As a Sabres fan, I am positive on this as Eichel and Rhinehart played 2 seasons prior to the expansion draft, and Buffalo did not have to protect them. Same as McDavid in Edmonton.

          So even if Glass per se, made the team this season coming, he would only have 2 seasons at that point. 2018/19 and 2019/20. The few games they get in Chicago after their JR seasons are over doesn’t count.

          Where it could get dicey is if they delayed Seattle by a season.

          Regardless, the only draft picks from last year I see being a possible issue is Brannstrom because I could see him leaving the Swedish league and joining the AHL so he can learn the NA style of play with the smaller rinks and such. Also Hague will be 20, so I believe he will get sent to Chicago as well.

  3. CUPIN2

    #CUPIN2

  4. Brian Lawrence

    Didn’t Glass and Suzuki play a few game with the Chicago Wolves towards the end of the season?

    • Mark

      Those handful are allowed after a players Jr season ends. It won’t count towards true service time.

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